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News

The government is open to discussing new tax with Internet industry

According to Lenta.ru, during the Hour of Code event the Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforovsaid that the Anti-piracy tax bill must be discussed with the industry. Otherwise, its current version will encounter many financial and technical obstacles.

“The bill still requires very careful consideration. It is a delusion that we can easily find out who watched a particular movie and listened to a particular song by analyzing the data traffic, and based on that distribute the money from the anti-piracyfund. Unfortunately, there are many issues with that,” – the Minister said to the press.

 

He also mentioned that this approach would require the telecom companies to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in additional (imported) equipment. Having acknowledged the importance of fighting the illegal content, he cautioned against using the concept of anti-piracy tax as an excuse to raise the Internet access prices. In his opinion, this should be prevented, because Russia would lose the existing competitive advantage (Internet prices are currentlyseveral times lower than in Europe.)

Nikiforovsaid that in order to accommodate the interests of all parties involved, the bill should not be passed in haste, but discussed with the IT industry first.

In November the Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalovput a number of Ministries in charge of drafting the bills based on the concept of paying the royalties on works available online from the revenues of carrier companies and Internet providers. The concept was introduced by the Russian Union of Right-holders and is based on so-called “global license” for using the works available online, for which every Internet user should pay approximately 300 rubles per year.

Nevertheless, Russian Internet providers appealed to the President Valdimir Putin with criticism of the bill, and the Internet users have started a petition against the anti-piracy tax